Cape Breton University is pleased to announce that Eunice Harker and Mary Rebecca Julian will receive honorary degrees during its Fall Convocation ceremony being held on November 4, 2017, at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. Both women are being awarded Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. Harker is being recognized for her exemplary work in the advocacy of human rights and Julian for her commitment to the preservation and growth of Mi’kmaw culture.
“With passion and through demonstrated commitment, both of our honorary degree recipients have made a difference that has improved the lives of others. Both Mrs. Harker and Mrs. Julian are wonderful examples of how the desire for change can have a far-reaching impact. I know their stories will inspire CBU graduates to use their knowledge to better the world around them,” says Dr. Dale Keefe, President & Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University.
For more than 40 years, Eunice Harker has been working to advocate for human rights and equality. Her work in Canada began during her studies at Carleton University in the late 1970s, and continues today, as the Chair of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC). Under Harker’s leadership, the NSHRC has made important strides in promoting human rights throughout the province, especially among the African Nova Scotian and First Nations communities. Of course, she is no stranger to Cape Breton University or the Cape Breton community. During her ten-year residence in Cape Breton, she was active in many community organizations and outreach initiatives, such as the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities, where she was a founding member.
For more than 30 years, Rebecca Julian has been a driving force in the education field for the Sipekne’katik First Nation and surrounding communities. A residential school survivor, Julian’s life is one of great hardship, determination and success. Her experiences have compelled her to work to both protect and preserve her knowledge of Mi’kmaw language and culture. Much of the traditions she learned as a young girl, she now teaches to others to ensure the traditions of her people are passed on. In 1984, she became a certified linguist and started teaching Mi’kmaw language classes in schools across Nova Scotia. She has also co-author several Mi’kmaw language resources. In 2013, Julian was awarded the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Senior Memorial Elder Award. This award is presented to individuals who work to keep the Mi’kmaw culture alive and thriving.
For more information about CBU’s Fall Convocation Ceremony, please visit www.cbu.ca/convocation.